Some people are active by nature. They love to hike, swim, or just walk around town. Others tend to enjoy more relaxing activities like going to lunch or watching movies. For you active folks, you’re in luck. For those less than active folks, there is good reason to get moving.
It was probably long before you were diagnosed with Parkinson’s that you heard about the benefits of exercise: increased flexibility, strength, muscle tone, and the list goes on. New research on how exercise can impact Parkinson’s is adding to this list. Below is a recap of some of the key points from this research. Where available, we have included a link you can click on for more details.
A United States study of more than 140,000 men and women showed that those who exercised vigorously were 40 percent less likely to get Parkinson’s as compared to those people who reported zero physical activity or only light activities, i.e. walking or dancing. In this study, vigorous activity was defined as 5 to 6 hours of aerobics or 3 to 4 hours of lap swimming each week.
Recent studies have shown that forced exercise can help ease Parkinson’s symptoms up to 30 percent, which is the same response that is typically seen with use of Levodopa. In this study, they looked at tandem bicycling for 40 minutes. The person with Parkinson’s was pedaling from the back seat at the same rate and intensity as the person without Parkinson’s in the front seat. See Biking to Help Control Parkinson's Disease.
Click here to see list of exercise programs throughout San Diego County.